Facebook Messenger Has Secret Dark Mode You Can Unlock

by : Francesca Donovan on : 05 Mar 2019 10:56
Facebook Night ModeFacebook Night ModeUNILAD/PA Images

There’s a Facebook Messenger ‘Dark Mode’ and it sounds like something out of a 007 film.


While it’s named akin to a tactical method of warfare used to defeat Capitalism (or Communism, depending on your persuasion) with your comrades, actually it’s a little more twee than you might think, and it involves absolutely no references to the Cold War.

It’s a new Messenger 4 design which creators hope will help you protect your eyes from the glare of your screen when you’re procrastinating and looking at memes. Cute. Thanks Facebook.

In a bid to look out for your peepers Facebook have created a ‘secret dark mode’ – which they are publicising in press releases – to turn the white background of your Messenger interface black.


It can be switched on – to the delight of at least two people in our office, both of whom are on Android – using your little crescent moon emoji – who are stuck with night mode, I guess.

Small pleasures, hey?

Per an email, UNILAD was told:

As many may have discovered, we’ve created a secret, limited-time activation code for people to access the feature ahead of everyone else.

Simply send a crescent moon emoji in any Messenger chat to unlock the setting and prompt to turn on dark mode.

It’s part of Messenger 4, the fourth update of the app. The dark mode provides ‘lower brightness’ while ‘maintaining contrast and vibrancy’.

It ‘works to cut down the glare from your phone’ for use in low light situations ‘so you can use the Messenger features you love no matter when or where you are’.


In other words, Facebook has found new ways for you to have constant, unadulterated access to Facebook messenger in the most subtly self-serving technological move since Elon Musk tried to send a submarine to save some Thai boys who got stuck in a cave.

In the press release, there isn’t much mention of usage limits or screen time warnings as an alternative aid for Facebook users’ vision.

UNILAD asked if there are any plans for the social media giant to introduce such measures.

A spokesperson confirmed ‘there are currently no plans to develop notifications to advise users on how to manage their time whilst using Facebook Messenger’.

Meanwhile, the world’s most popular source of so-called meaningful interaction has been caught red-handed using people’s mobile phone numbers for targeted advertising, after insinuating it wouldn’t.

Some users have claimed their mobile numbers, handed over in the name of two-factor security measures, have been used to connect them with other Facebook users inorganically.

Jeremy Burge led the charge in making the complaint on Twitter:

Hey, at least you can personalise your messenger chats with total strangers you never wanted to connect with in the first place, now.


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Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: Featured


Jeremy Burge/Twitter
  1. Jeremy Burge/Twitter